August 16, 2016

Is Single Serve Heading for Heavy Scrutiny by Regulators?

The explosive growth of the single serve coffee category underlined consumers’ interest in convenience and quality.

The single serve story is well-known on kitchen countertops across North America. NCA data points to a steady rise in single-serve coffee preparation among US consumers until 2014, followed by two years of sudden up and down patterns around an apparent plateau.

After a generation of attention to the mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle, some consumers remain uncomfortable with a category based on throwing out food waste encased in plastic. In response, brands continue to develop solutions that will minimize waste and through innovative packaging solutions.

When communicating these developments to consumers, brands must always communicate with complete transparency – or risk not only alienating consumers, but also attracting scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC and some state attorneys general are increasingly calling out brands on greenwashing claims. The key document for the FTC’s greenwashing fight is its “Green Guides.”

The Green Guides were issued to help marketers ensure that the claims they are making are true and substantiated. The guidance they provide includes:

  • Which general principles apply to environmental marketing claims
  • How consumers are likely to interpret particular claims and how marketers can substantiate these claims
  • How marketers can qualify their claims to avoid deceiving consumers.

The most recent FTC Green Guides update in 2012 included important changes on terms that the FTC finds may be misleading to consumers.

Recyclable claims for single serve pods may undergo scrutiny for two reasons.

The first is uneven consumer access. The FTC requires an unqualified claim to be one that 60% or more of the consumers being marketed to can actually adopt. Brands focused on local areas and regions with strong recycling programs in place, such as much of the West Coast, are on firmer ground than those focused on some other regions.

The second issue is the type of plastic used – and whether the plastic will make it into the system at all. Many recycling facilities use a variety of processes to get small, light items out at the beginning of their processes. For example, the incoming plastics may be bounced along tables or inside drums that have holes large enough to divert the small items off to the landfill.

Is plastic recycling of single serve pods the way forward? New innovations in the packing industry may change the perception of regulators and consumers.

Club Coffee is sponsoring the upcoming NCA webinar, Single-Cup Brewing 2016: Plateau or Potential? on August 18, 2016 1:00 – 2:00pm EDT. (Free for NCA members)

Learn more about Club Coffee’s PURPOD100®, or join the conversation on Twitter using #PURPOD100

As posted on National Coffee Association

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September 30, 2020

Club Coffee Welcomes Ontario Government Support for Compostable Coffee Pods in Municipal Composting Systems

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2020 – Club Coffee welcomes the Ontario government announcement that municipalities should now include certified compostable coffee pods in their food waste diversion programs under the province’s updated Food and Organic Waste Policy Statement. “Ontario government support for compostable coffee pods including Club Coffee’s PURPOD100® is a game-changer,” said Club Coffee CEO John Pigott.

Read More from Club Coffee Welcomes Ontario Government Support for Compostable Coffee Pods in Municipal Composting Systems

July 16, 2020

Club Coffee Enhances Its Consumer Recycling and Composting Information on Pack

Club Coffee, the leader in plant-based compostable single-serve coffee pods, is implementing the How2Recycle and How2Compost label instructions on its packaging. It joins more than 250 North American industry leaders using the programs to give consumers clear messaging about where their packaging is designed to be discarded when they’re done using it.

Read More from Club Coffee Enhances Its Consumer Recycling and Composting Information on Pack

September 27, 2019

Plastic Coffee Pods: Good, Bad, or Just Plain Ugly?

What happens to your plastic coffee pods once they’re thrown away? They’re probably going straight to a landfill — even the ones labelled “recyclable”. Professor Calvin Lakhan of the Faculty of Environmental Studies at Toronto’s York University is one of Canada’s leading experts on our waste systems.

Read More from Plastic Coffee Pods: Good, Bad, or Just Plain Ugly?

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